Illinois Teacher Sues School District over CRT Training: ‘Pitting Racial Groups Against Each Other’

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An Illinois teacher is suing the Evanston/Skokie Community Consolidated School District 65 in Evanston, Illinois, alleging that the school district has stereotyped white people and divided teachers according to their race — in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

A lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday by the Southeastern Legal Foundation — representing school teacher Stacy Deemar — is one of the latest pushbacks against Critical Race Theory in the world of academia.

The suit alleges that the school district has violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by “treating individuals differently because of their race.”

Superintendent Devon Horton — who was named in Tuesday’s lawsuit — allegedly declared to District 65 teachers, “If you’re not antiracist, we can’t have you in front of our students.”

The lawsuit suggests, however, that Horton’s definition of “antiracist” is racist, arguing that one lesson taught in District 65 allegedly reads: “Whiteness is a bad deal. It always was,” and having “whiteness” means having “stolen land, stolen riches, special favors” and the ability “to mess endlessly with the lives of your friends, neighbors, loved ones, and all fellow humans of color.”

“For years now, race-based programming has overtaken District 65 in the name of racial ‘equity,'” the lawsuit states.

The suit continues:

What seems like a relatively benign cause — also euphemistically called “social justice,” “diversity and inclusion,” “critical race theory,” and “culturally responsive teaching” — is actually code-speak for a much bigger and more dangerous picture: the practice of conditioning individuals to see each other’s skin color first and foremost, then pitting different racial groups against each other.

The lawsuit goes on to allege that District 65’s so-called “antiracist training” involves requiring teachers to accept that white individuals are “loud, authoritative… [and] controlling,” to understand, that “to be less white is to be less racially oppressive,” to acknowledge that “white identity is inherently racist,” and to denounce “white privilege,” among other things.

Teachers are also allegedly required to “racially segregate themselves” into “affinity groups,” as well as participate in so-called “privilege walks.”

“If teachers oppose, question, or ‘disengage’ from those teachings, District 65 blatantly calls them ‘racist,'” the lawsuit claims.

After two years of requiring teachers to participate in this type of training, the suit says that District 65 went on to “impose these racist teachings on their students.”

District 65’s curriculum for Pre-K through eighth grade allegedly teaches students that “racism is a white person’s problem and we are all caught up in it,” that “white people have a very, very serious problem and they should start thinking about what they should do about it,” and that it is “important to disrupt the Western nuclear family dynamics as the best/proper way to have a family,” among other things.

Students are also directed to gather in “affinity groups segregated by skin color” and “participate in privilege walks,” the suit claims.

Teachers were also allegedly instructed to read the book Not My Idea: A Book about Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things) by Anastasia Higginbotham to their Pre-K through fifth-grade students. The book includes a depiction of a white man with a devil’s tail holding a “Contract Binding You to Whiteness.”

The lawsuit adds that educators were also asked to score their so-called “white privilege” during mandatory diversity training, and were provided with a list of scenarios to answer — one of which stated, “because of my race or color, I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.”

Staffers were then allegedly told to separate themselves — higher scores on the left and lower on the right. They were then instructed to further separate themselves based on additional prompts.

“Near the end of the exercise, the facilitator asks all white people standing in line to step forward,” the lawsuit reads, adding that the facilitator then concludes, “What you see is white privilege and the color line.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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